Simone am slow too, umm...correct me if I am way off in my response. Aikido has a montra to follow, with a touch of a mantra in it, where we are persuaded by the montra of "the masters" which is very strict that Aikido shouldn't be a sport. But, rather a means of spiritual development; a path. Spiritual has so many meanings
Aikido is a Japanese muse, like playing an musical instrument, like dance, like writing, etc. A muse has a diverse and unique function which has benefits to the individual. The more dedicated to the path (as with any muse) the greater the reward. They have the internal talk with themselves figuring out how far they want to go. Due to that then, it is each individual who must judge themselves and abilities if they are satisfied or not with how far they travel because they are on that path alone. They, alone, have to decide and judge the results and what they make of them.
Aikido by it's nature than of a spiritual path verses a combat path is what is attractive to new and old Aikidoka. Because this path is a specific path carved out by O'Sensei it is unique. This unique path has something very attractive to those new and old Aikido. It has elements of spirituality; a higher being, leadership and personal development learned through the body that teaches the spirit (mind, mental discipline, attitude, etc) and is practical. Besides being a fun and challenging physical activity that is self- competition to better the self both physically in exercise and improving a skill, and mentally rewarding. And it has a different perspective on things that is intriguing to many. It isn't a path a team takes, but rather a path for the individual's development. You are challenging yourself, your abilities intensely. It is up to you what you want to do with it, how far you want to travel on this unique path called Aikido.
Aikido is a complex activity because it deals and focuses so deeply with the human spirt, spirituality, human development, etc. it attracts a variety of people for a variety of reasons with a variety of perspectives on it, due in part that O'Sensei's / masters words are often unique and abstract even in the Japanese langauge and thought. Most people try and make sense of it with the tool of finding something in their own culture that to them is relatively similar.
This doesn't happen in sports. Sports are games where there is a playing field, rules of play, etc. plus competition plays a major role. Sports are things like squash to chess. There are exceptions like rock climbing where it doesn't completely fit as a sport, but is consider a sport for some reason rather than an art. Aikido isn't a sport; Aikido can be and has been altered to be a sport because of its martial elements. Just as squash can be altered to be a form of exercise like an exercise class.
Aikido is a martial art, which takes from Japanese martial culture, like discipline, aspects of philosophy in training, organization, and other things like what you said, practitioners use to repeat the following sing-song, like a well tuned and conducted chorus. But there are no battles to be fought or won in Aikido on an external playing field, only on the internal battle field of the self. This is why Aikido isn't a sport, but a path. And has the issues it does.